At least five smuggling cases were registered, four of them by Jammu and Kashmir Police and one case by National Investigation Agency (NIA) related to cross-Line of Control (LoC) trade through Salamabad trade facilitation Centre at Uri in Baramulla district during past 10 years.
An official said three cases registered by police pertained to the smuggling of narcotics from Pakistan administered Kashmir to this side of Kashmir while fourth case pertained to carrying of arms and ammunition.
In April this year Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) banned the LoC trade, stating that the routes, Uri in Baramulla and Chakandabagh in Poonch, were used for “inflow of weapons, narcotics and foreign currency”.
The first case involving cross-LoC trade was registered by police in on 2 August in 2013 after at least nine packets of banned drugs (Cocaine) were seized by Baramulla police from a truck loaded with Bananas, which had to be delivered to a Pak based trader.
Subsequently, an FIR no 47/2013 under NDPS Act was registered in police station Sheeri.
President of the cross-LoC Traders Association, Hilal Turkei said the driver of the truck had been arrested in the incident which led to suspension of the trade for a month.
“The trade was suspended for a month as the administration of other side (PaK) had demanded release of truck driver,” he said.
On 17 January 2014, Police recovered 114 packets of narcotics worth crores of rupees from a Pak-registered truck after it had arrived at Salamabad trade facilitation centre in Uri.
The driver was arrested while his truck was seized besides some Kashmir-based traders were also arrested in the case.
The incident had led to standoff between the two sides of Kashmir and the trader has resumed after series of deliberation and high level meetings between both the sides of divided Kashmir.
On 1 March 2017 Police had recovered a huge cache of arms and ammunition from a truck and arrested its Kashmiri driver, who was ferrying goods from Chakoti, Muzaffarabad in PaK to this side of Kashmir. Subsequently, an FIR No. 07/2017 under sections of 7/25 Arms Act, 13 Unlawful Activities Prevention Act was registered in Police Station Uri.
An FIR no: 54 / 2017 under sections of 29 Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Act (NDPSA) was registered in Police Station Uri after police had seized 66.5 kg of narcotics from a truck coming from PaK at the Salamabad trade centre on 21 July in 2017.
The seizure had led to suspension of trade for weeks while the truck driver was in custody and his truck seized.
NIA has also registered a case RC-17/2016/NIA/DLI, alleging a large scale transfer of funds from Pakistan to India through the import of California Almonds via the Cross-LOC Trade Facilitation Centers (TFCs) located at Salamabad, Uri, and Chakkan-Da-Bag, Poonch has been taken place.
Before the ban on the barter between Indian and Pakistan, the Kashmir-based traders had many times demanded installation of full body truck scanners at the trade facilitation centres for detection of any authorised and illegal material.
However, such scanners were never installed for the smooth trade, Turkei said.
The cross-LoC trade was a duty-free barter trade between India and Pakistan started in 2008 as a part of major confidence building measure to boost direct trade between Jammu and Kashmir and PaK and bilateral ties among the two neighboring countries.